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Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past

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Ancient DNA and the new science of the human past

Ancient DNA and the new science of the human past

Air date: Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 3:00:00 PM

Category: WALS - Wednesday Afternoon Lectures

Runtime: 01:05:46

Description: NIH Director's Wednesday Afternoon Lecture

Beginning in 2010, it became practical to sequence whole genomes from DNA extracted from ancient human boness, and to analyze the data to understand changes in biology over time. Since that timethen, the amount of ancient DNA data has increased at an extraordinary rate, with the number of samples with at least one-fold genome coverage being 5 five in 2013, 18 in 2014, and 116 in 2015. Dr. Reich will begin his lecture by describing how present-day Europeans derive from a fusion highly divergent ancestral populations as different from each other as are Europeans and East Asians. He will then summarize the history of modern humans in Europe over the approximately 45,000 years since they first arrived. He will next describe the spread of farming populations from the Near East over the last twelve thousands12,000 years. He will finally conclude by describing explaining how the analysis of ancient DNA has led to. some of the insights about human biological change over time.

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Author: David Reich, D. Phil., Professor of Genetics Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School

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Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past

David Reich, Professor, Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Senior Associate Member, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT

Sweeping technological innovations in the field of genomics are enabling scientists to extract and analyze ancient DNA—genetic material from human remains dating back up to hundreds of thousands of years—as never before. This research is revealing new insights into our lineage as modern humans and has become as important as archaeology, linguistics, and the written word in understanding our past. David Reich, author of Who We Are and How We Got Here, will discuss the potential of ancient DNA for revealing the history of our species.

Evolution Matters Lecture Series

Free and open to the public.

Series supported by a generous gift from Drs. Herman and Joan Suit

Presented in collaboration with the Allen Discovery Center at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, funded through The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group
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David Reich - Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past (March 3, 2021)

Scientists sequenced the first ancient human genomes in 2010, and since then, more than 5000 additional ancient genomes have been published. That work makes it possible to ask and answer questions about the past that were impossible to address before. A measure of a new scientific instrument’s novelty is how often it reveals surprises, and by this measure, ancient DNA has been as revelatory as past instruments like the microscope.

In this talk, David Reich will discuss how ancient DNA has revealed archaic human populations that interbred with modern humans that we did not know about before. He will talk about how ancient DNA has revealed that large-scale mixing of populations is not just a phenomenon of the last 500 years but has occurred throughout human history. He will finally discuss how we can use ancient DNA to estimate how large and mobile human populations were in the deep past. More details:
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David Reich: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past | Town Hall Seattle

The genomic revolution is transforming our understanding of modern humans. Geneticists like David Reich have made astounding advances in genomics, which is proving to be as important a field as archeology or linguistics for understanding our ancestry. Reich arrives at Town Hall to enlighten us with provocative research and unparalleled scientific studies that have yielded revolutionary findings—compiled in his book Who We Are and How We Got Here. He reveals the hidden story of our species, offering insight on DNA studies that reveal deep inequalities among different populations, between the sexes, and among individuals. Reich suggests that there might very well be biological differences among human populations—many of which are unlikely to conform to common stereotypes. Join Reich for a captivating glimpse into the origins of humankind, and a chance to apply the genetic findings of the past to our lives today.

David Reich is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, with a reputation as one of the world’s leading pioneers in analyzing ancient human DNA. In a 2015 article in Nature, he was named one of ten people who matter in all of the sciences for his contribution to transforming ancient DNA data “from niche pursuit to industrial process.” Awards he has received include the Newcomb Cleveland Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as the Dan David Prize in the Archaeological and Natural Sciences for his computational discovery of intermixing between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens.

Presented by Town Hall Seattle.
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Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past

Prof. David Reich, Harvard Medical School, USA

Symposium on Ancient DNA Tells a Tale of Yore
Dan David Prize 2017
Tel Aviv University
24.5.17

Keynote: Using Ancient DNA to understand modern human history - Janet Kelso - LASCS 2020

Keynote: Using Ancient DNA to understand modern human history - Janet Kelso - LASCS 2020

Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past

David Reich - Ancient DNA and the new science of the human past [20169

Using DNA sequencing to uncover how human populations have moved and mixed around in the past.

Beginning in 2010, it became practical to sequence whole genomes from DNA extracted from ancient human boness, and to analyze the data to understand changes in biology over time. Since that timethen, the amount of ancient DNA data has increased at an extraordinary rate, with the number of samples with at least one-fold genome coverage being 5 five in 2013, 18 in 2014, and 116 in 2015. Dr. Reich will begin his lecture by describing how present-day Europeans derive from a fusion highly divergent ancestral populations as different from each other as are Europeans and East Asians. He will then summarize the history of modern humans in Europe over the approximately 45,000 years since they first arrived. He will next describe the spread of farming populations from the Near East over the last twelve thousands12,000 years. He will finally conclude by describing explaining how the analysis of ancient DNA has led to. some of the insights about human biological change over time.

Author: David Reich, D. Phil., Professor of Genetics Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School

Anne Stone: Ancient DNA of Humans and Their Pathogens

(Visit:
1:38 - Ancient DNA of humans and their pathogens - Anne Stone

CARTA celebrates its 10th anniversary with a whirlwind tour of anthropogeny, the study of the origin of humans, by addressing these questions across multiple disciplines: What do we know for certain? What do we think we know? What do we need to know? How do we proceed? Recorded on 3/23/2019. Series: CARTA - Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny [Show ID: 34701]

Using Ancient DNA to Track the Evolution of Today's Humans

(01:38 Main Presentation)
Where did we humans come from? When did we become the dominant species on the planet? Experts take you on an exploration of the last half-decade of new evidence from ancient DNA, fossils, archaeology and population studies that has updated our knowledge about The Origins of Today's Humans. Recorded on 02/21/2020. [Show ID: 35715]

More from: CARTA: Exploring the Origins of Today's Humans
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Ghosts and Hybrids: How ancient DNA and new fossils are changing human origins

Dr. John Hawks delivers a lecture on Ancient DNA & Human Origins. at Michigan State University on October 4, 2018.

The rapidly changing field of ancient DNA has settled into a kind of normal science, as several teams of researchers have coalesced around a set of approaches to discover the genetic relationships among ancient peoples.

Hawks is the Vilas-Borghesi Distinguished Achievement Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He is an anthropologist and studies the bones and genes of ancient humans. He's worked on almost every part of our evolutionary story, from the very origin of our lineage among the apes up to the last 10,000 years of our history.



What ancient and modern DNA tells us about our human past?

Presenter: Dr. Stephan Schiffels

Group Leader for Population Genetics
Department for Archaeogenetics
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena

Our human past leaves traces in our genomes, via population size changes, admixture events and migration patterns. Via genetic analyses, we can therefore read human history from our genomes, which adds critically to our growing body of pre-historical evidence from archaeology and linguistics. In this talk, I will introduce the field of historical population genetics, and showcase three examples: First, I will show how our genomes contain information about the origins of our species in Africa, in the deep past. Second, I will demonstrate how we can use ancient DNA from Anglo-Saxon remains in Great Britain to investigate the nature and consequences of the Anglo-Saxon migration period. Third, I will introduce our most recent project, in which we use ancient and modern DNA to investigate the peopling of North America.

Article:

CARTA: Ancient DNA and Human Evolution – María C. Ávila-Arcos: The Genetic History of the Americas

(Visit: In this talk, María Ávila-Arcos (National Autonomous University of Mexico) presents a review of the current state of knowledge of the genetic history of the Americas as revealed by ancient and modern DNA studies. Series: CARTA - Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny [8/2016] [Science] [Show ID: 30983]

David Reich: The truth about us, and where we come from

Harvard geneticist David Reich and his team are DNA testing the bones of ancient humans. Their explosive results are still coming in, but one thing is already certain: much of what we thought we knew about human history is simply wrong.

From mammoths to Neandertals, ancient DNA unlocks the mysteries of the past

Evolutionary biologist Beth Shapiro and her team extract DNA from animal bones buried in the frozen Arctic for millennia. Starting with mere fragments of DNA, the scientists can reconstruct entire genomes of these animals to better understand how species respond to rapid changes in the environment.

Beyond climate change, ancient DNA provides a window into the past to view evolution and ecology over hundreds of thousands of years. Learn more in our Special Issue on ancient DNA at
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Exploring Prehistory with Ancient DNA

In this Little Lecture, Dr Linus Girdland looks at Exploring Prehistory with Ancient DNA.

MHAAM 2019: From Homer to History: David Reich 11/1/2019

Who are we? - Ancient DNA in the Human Genome

This short film examines the development of anatomically modern humans, over the past c.200 thousand years, and explores how our extinct evolutionary cousins (the Neanderthals) influenced that story. Remarkably, fragments of ancient DNA have been recovered from Neanderthal fossil remains, and this new genetic information has revealed a quite amazing story about how these prehistoric people interacted with their modern human counterparts...

This short film was produced by a team of final year students at NUI Galway:
Tymandra Butler, Niamh Meyler & Adam Tooher

Hope you enjoy watching!

All images belong to the original authors

How ancient DNA sequencing changed the game

The past two decades have witnessed extraordinary technological and computational advances in nucleic acid sequencing. Working with ancient DNA, Beth Shapiro has applied next-generation sequencing to look into genomes of the distant past, with the hope that they can help us to understand our future.

The Nature Milestones in Genomic Sequencing project caught up with Beth to hear about the impact of genomic sequencing on the field of ancient DNA research.

Read more in

Watch the other film in this series

This Nature Video is editorially independent. It is produced with third party financial support. Read more about Supported Content here:

Sign up for the Nature Briefing: An essential round-up of science news, opinion and analysis, free in your inbox every weekday:

DNA tracks mysterious Denisovans to Chinese cave, just before modern humans showed up

In a new paper in Science, archaeologist Dongju Zhang's research team reports the first Denisovan ancient DNA found outside Denisova Cave: mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) gleaned not from fossils, but from the cave sediments themselves. Precise dates show the Denisovans took shelter in the cave 100,000 years and 60,000 years ago, and possibly as recently as 45,000 years ago, when modern humans were flowing into eastern Asia.

Read more ($):
Read the research ($):

producer/editor
Aurélie Beatley

supervising producer
Joel Goldberg

animations/illustrations
Aurélie Beatley

script by
Joel Goldberg

special thanks
Laura Zahn
Elizabeth Culotta
Ann Gibbons

photos
Dongju Zhang

video
Dongju Zhang

Denisovan portrait
Maayan Harel/Copyright Maayan Harel, Maayan Visuals

music
Tibetan Monk by Pondtunez/Pond5

original research
D. Zhang et al., Science 2020
DOI: 10.1126/science.abb6320

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